31 August 2012

Love Those Students

I recently had the opportunity to speak to two of Mrs. Robinson’s classes at Millard South. I am a little bias because I love to talk to the youth about Open Door Mission, poverty and homelessness; but both classes were awesome. I shared about how we often have preconceptions about people in poverty or that are homeless. We need to step back and look with eyes of compassion and caring not judgment at those less fortunate. Students are great to talk to because in spite of what some think they are not selfish but very caring and compassionate. I have found that especially high school students are willing to come and volunteer or organize drives for needed items.

Mrs. Robinson’s classes were interested and asked questions. They were honest about having preconceptions and were willing to look at facts & figures to see the causes of homelessness and poverty…and then change their perceptions and attitudes toward the less fortunate. They saw that their actions could make a difference in someone’s life. Some took extra brochures to share with friends and teammates. Some came to tell me that they too had experienced some of the painful and sad situations of poverty in their own lives. Some shared they had family members that were caught up in drugs and other addictions and were worried those they love and cared about would soon be homeless. Then there were those that shared they had family that had been helped by Open Door Mission, and had been treated with dignity and respect.

I find that no matter what school or what school district I go to I hear similar stories. I have never heard a single word of disrespect about Open Door Mission. Those whose lives are helped are grateful, those that have volunteered are glad they served and those that have never known what Open Door Mission is all about go away with a new respect for the clients we serve and the things we do. I am proud to share about Open Door Mission. I would love to share at your school, business, organization or social group how YOU can help Open Door Mission make a difference in YOUR community.

Maggie Cope

22 August 2012

Keeping Your Balance

Balance Works Massage Center knows it is important to keep all parts of your life in balance, especially when giving back to the community. Nina, Emily and Beverly keep their clients relaxed fit and healthy with great massages, but they also care about the homeless and near homeless in the metro area. They collected bottled water for Open Door Mission and gave their clients a 15% off coupon for their next visit. The event was very successful as they delivered over 580 bottles of water to Open Door Mission.

We appreciate businesses that not only collect needed items for Open Door Mission, but give their clients a great deal too. It is a “win-win” for everyone. If you would like your business to get involved in giving back to the community please call Maggie at 402-422-1111 ext 1554 or email  mcope@opendoormission.org. We will be happy to get you started on a donation drive. Make a difference in someone’s life today…Balance Works Massage Center did.

21 August 2012

Faithful Steward

Open Door Mission is blessed to have very faithful donors and volunteers. I have been blessed to become friends with a donor that always answers my call for donations. Pat has a special love for children, especially those in need. She shops all year looking for bargains so that the children at Lydia House will have new clothes, underwear, shoes and coats and even toys at Christmas. Her love of children and generosity has blessed so many at Open Door Mission the past 4 years I have known her.

Recently I went to pick-up “some of the donations” she had for Lydia House. I drove my compact Camry to get them. I should have known better. I should have gotten a van!  As the picture testifies there were a lot of clothes and coats to bless the children…my car was stuffed full, barely room for a driver. What I really admire about Pat is she never pays full price, often getting the clothes and coats for 80-90% off. I and Open Door Mission are thankful for Pat and her stewardship, love of children and faithfulness to the children we serve.
If you want to find out how you can make a difference right here in our community please call me 402-422-1111 ext 1554. I would love to get to know you and help you make a difference in the lives of others.

Maggie Cope

20 August 2012

TP House for Lydia House at Open Door Mission

Sunday morning I met and shared with some “Very Important Building crews “at Westside Church. The first through fifth grade Sunday school classes are going to “build” a “TP House “for Lydia and Open Door Mission. They will work the next 5 weeks on this project to give back to the community and help those in need.

Their project is very important because they are building the house out of Toilet Paper! The project will show how everyone can work together using “small bricks”, “medium bricks” or “large bricks” of toilet paper. They are going to see how big they can “build” the house by working together with all 5 of their groups (3 sessions at Westside dodge, Elkhorn and Fremont). Overseeing the construction are Miss Jenny and Mr. Caleb with the help of all the teachers. One of the children told me “since God has a big house we are going to build a big house too.”

Westside 8:00 AM Children's Sunday School 

Westside 9:15 AM Children's Sunday School

Westside 11:11 AM Children's Sunday School

Westside Elkhorn Children's Sunday School

In about 5 weeks I should have pictures of the TP House at Westside. Please check back to see what the “building crews” can do…with the faith of a child and lots of toilet paper. IF your Church or group would like to set up a TP Drive for Open Door Mission please give Maggie a call today at 402-422-1111 ext 1554 or e-mail her. 

17 August 2012

What does love look like?

I was recently asked by young person, “what does love look like?” I have been thinking about that question a lot lately. What does love look like to you? To me love looks like so many different things. I am blessed to work at Open Door Mission so I see love in a lot of ways.

Love looks like thousands of dollars spent on clothes that are unselfishly donated so that homeless children can have a new outfit to wear to school. Love looks like the face of one of the donor seeing some of the children she helped dressed in their new outfit. Love is the squeals of delight from the children and their parents when they see all the new clothes and backpacks and school supplies that were donated to make education a priority.

Love looks like volunteers going out in 100+ degree weather to make sure the homeless on the streets have clean cool water to drink. Love looks like “Loaves & Fishes” teams that chose to come faithfully to prep, feed and cleanup for over 1,800 meals Open Door Mission serves daily.

Love looks like a young mother that is blessed to get diapers and a food pantry for her family without feeling ashamed or scared. Love looks like the 5,000-7,000 people able to stay in their own homes thanks to “free shopping” at the Timberlake Outreach Center. Love looks like all the people who generously clean out closets, donate furniture, appliances and household items to the Timberlake Outreach Center.

Love looks like men laughing and talking while sharing a meal at a table not a dumpster. Love looks like mothers smiling while their children get to play in a safe environment and are well fed. Love looks like a woman, who has seen more bad than good, find a safe place to sleep and the help she needs.

Love looks like Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas hams, cases of toilet paper, donations of fresh vegetables and fruit, purple Hope Totes full of personal care products, new Christmas toys, warm coats and blankets and just about anything Open Door Mission needs that is donated. Love looks like our donors and volunteers.

Love looks like You in the mirror when you choose to make a difference at Open Door Mission, Garland Thompson Men's Center, Lydia House or the Timberlake Outreach Center…to those in need YOU look like love.

16 August 2012

Homeless Children head back to school in style

Children all over the Heartland are heading back to classes. For students living on Open Door Mission Campus, they are going back to school in style thanks to generous donors in the community. Almost 200 homeless and needy children are receiving new clothing and shoes through Open Door Mission's Adopt-A-Student Program.

One local business, Children's Physicians Clinic adopted 9 students. When Susan came to bring the items she was greeted by 3 of the students and their mother. As you can see in the photo they were so excited that they got brand new shoes and clothes to wear the first day of school.

Thank you again to everyone who made a difference in the lives of the boys and girls here at Open Door Mission.

James Cummings
Public Relations Coordinator

08 August 2012

Small Church…Big Heart…Lessons Well Learned

I had an awesome experience last week to travel to Emerson, Iowa, an idyllic small town with a dynamic Baptist Church. The Pastor had asked me to speak to the Vacation Bible School to encourage them in their mission project for the week. I don’t know how much I encouraged them, but I know they encouraged me. There were about 25-30 children opening night, and they have decided to take on a project that many companies, organizations and churches have not even considered doing…they are going to provide NEW back to school clothes for ten children at Lydia House. They are doing “Adopt- A-Student” for school clothes. We are talking from head to toe provision…underwear, outfits, socks and shoes. The children have to collect at least $500.00 (of the $1,000.00 needed) because a generous church member has offered to match what they collect. We have young children choosing to make a difference in other children’s lives…by adopting not one child, but ten.
These children are blessed; they have wonderful Christian parents, a Biblical church and a lot of heart for missions… especially children’s missions. Like many of you I admit I wasn’t too sure they could do it-“oh yea of little faith”.

Less then a week later, on a beautiful Sunday morning God showed me the “faith of a child”. I returned to that little Church in Emerson, IA and the VBS children collected almost $700.00 which was matched by the adults; they were able to purchase shoes, underwear, socks and 2 complete outfits for 10 homeless children. Pastor Gregg said thanks to the money collected, sales, coupons and good stewardship they were able to get the children 2 outfits each. Those very special children never doubted their mission to serve the children at Lydia House, because they trusted God completely they did something awesome. I left First Baptist in Emerson IA praising God for the faith of children and the adults that have nurtured their faith. My faith was renewed and 10 children will have the HOPE that this will be a good year for them.

PS: The extra money collected and mission offering for August will bless the Children’s ministry at Open Door Mission.

03 August 2012

Medical Solutions has the Solution…

Medical Solutions has a definite solution for the hot weather-WATER! They donated six and a half pallets of water to Open Door Mission so we can help those on the street. Water is vital in these high temperature days to keep people from becoming dehydrated. Open Door Mission goes out on “water patrol” daily when the temperatures are in triple digits to make sure the homeless and needy are provide with a bottle of cold water. Medical Solutions knows how important water is to maintain health so they reached out to provide 476 cases of water so Open Door Mission can continue to do “water patrols” as well as providing water to those coming in to eat at lunch time.

You can help provide lifesaving and refreshing water by donating bottled water to Open Door Mission at the receiving center (2107 East Locust St) or by sponsoring a Beat the Heat drive to collect, water, fans and sunscreen. A simple bottle of water can refresh and give hope to those in need.

Call Maggie today at 402- 422-1111 to see how you can make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate.

01 August 2012

Health Organizations are “First Responders” to Beat the Heat Drives.

Select Specialty Hospital joined the group of health and medical organizations making sure the homeless living on the streets will have  water, sunscreen, sunglasses and lip balm. It has been wonderful to see how the health community has responded to Open Door Mission’s need  for bottled water. The Water Patrol that goes out daily during these high temperatures is a dedicated group of volunteers, but they can’t give out the water if there is no water. Thank you Specialty Select hospital for making sure we can continue serving the less fortunate in our community.

If you would like to do a Beat the Heat drive for Open Door Mission please call Maggie at 402-422-1111, ext. 1554. We need your help to continue to serve those in need.